Kitten Nightmare

by Deborah Randall
(Laurel, MD USA)

Little Debbie as Kitten

Little Debbie as Kitten

I awoke remembering a nightmare and I still can't shake it.

I was on my front steps and my dog was out there with me. My sister-in-law was on the perimeter and her kids were in the car waiting in the parking lot. A kitten appeared from beneath the shrubbery in front of my house. I kept a close eye on my dog.

Then, a cat comes along. The kitten's Mother I assume. My dog stays back and we are all sort of waiting to see this maternal kindness.

The Mother sniffs the kitten and looks to begin licking her for grooming, instead she attacks. There is screaming. And the kitten is so small and helpless. I give my dog the signal to call the big cat off but she won't get too close to this snarling screeching site. My sister-in-law gets closer to her kids in the parked car to protect them. I grab the cat and fling her into another yard. I check the kitten and it is bleeding.

The Mother approaches again, apparently serene and loving. I back off thinking that I should let nature nurture the way God intended. She begins to lick the wounds of the kitten but instead goes into an even more violent attack!

I pull her off, fling her and then go to her and squeeze her mouth so hard I wanted to crush it. But, then I caught myself, as I didn't want to become some abuser of animals.

I let go of the big cat and went again to check on the kitten.

Her right eye was gone, there was a pool of red blood and when I washed it away I could see the white bone of her skull. Some of her left eye was still there but it was oozing white puss and the thing was blind and bleeding.

I tried to clean it up and then the dream continued on. I had to give the kitten back to its Mother because that was the right thing to do. And, the Mother took it away.

The kitten would just have to learn to see without eyes now. A part of me thought that would have to be the worst of it. So much social conditioning was saying "cats should know best how to handle kittens" even AFTER what I had witnessed. I thought it had already lost all it could.

No. Now the thing would have to hold onto goodness even as it was attacked regularly. It would have to hold onto a belief that something better was waiting for it. It would have to learn to believe that it was here for a purpose and that this Mother-Cat would never have the power to destroy it entirely.

So many more things could yet be stolen from the tiny thing from its Mother.

I know that I was that kitten. And I know that no one helped me to get away from her. And maybe she took my eyes in the way that I have never seen the maternal love that some other people just see regularly. And maybe she tried to take my trust in love and hope for the world. But, all of those things are still mine.

There is a higher part of me that was always there and ready to fling her away. I just never thought that was the appropriate thing to do. I was supposed to be the suffering kitten who may or may not make it, but who certainly would be forever scarred.

In Greek mythology the character of Teiresias is a blind prophet. The Greeks believed that until you lost sight of the physical world, you would never be able to see the higher place, never be able to know true wisdom or love.

How to get off of trying to figure out what was wrong with the Mother-Cat and just let the kitten thrive? How to let my higher self now rule the day instead of this out-of-control wild beast wired to destroy me. The Mother-Cat is always making the fuss and demanding the attention. How is it that one day, she simply no longer has power? It's because the kitten grows up and past the rage. The higher self is now active and will no longer allow the Mother-Cat access.

I'm still trying in my subconscious to make sense and figure out how to FIX this thing that would make a Grimm's Fairy Tale seem tame.

My brain keeps searching. Searching in my dreams, and the realities there are really graphic.

Darlene's comments to this Child Abuse Article titled "Kitten Nightmare" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Comments for Kitten Nightmare

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Jul 05, 2008
I can relate...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Deb, as an adult I too used to have nightmares, a reoccurring one, though mine was a little less symbolic. Almost every night I dreamt that my mother was chasing me with a bullwhip (her mother used a bullwhip for discipline; my mother preferred a belt—I'd spent so much time trying to understand why my mother did the malicious things she did, that the actions of both these women inexorably melded into one.)

In that dream I couldn't escape. The harder I tried to run, the slower I got, weighed down by the ever-increasing heaviness of the dirt and grass under my feet as it dragged me down beneath the surface. My screams for help were garbled, inaudible, trapped in a time warp of sorts that only I as the dreamer was able to see and hear. I couldn't find the strength from my own legs so I frantically clutched at tufts of grass, desperate to keep from being buried alive. My mother kept getting closer and closer, the threat being less about the damages the whip would cause, more about what she would do when she finally caught up with me...I always woke up before she did.

As I dealt with one issue after another in therapy, I realized that the way I interpreted the dream may well have been perpetuating it. When I analyzed what exactly was happening in the dream, I came to realize that my mother never actually caught up with me; I was ahead of her the whole time, even when I was being inescapably dragged down by external forces. I came to realize that although the tip of the whip made contact over and over and over again, I felt no pain, only the fear of it: I was able to endure. I'd always seen myself as "powerless" rather than "powerful." I had construed my buried legs and feet as useless, leaving me incapable of escape, and therefore weak. But then I came to realize that I wasn't weak at all, that the act of desperately grasping with my hands and fingers was symbolic of my never-ending will to survive. I had strength I didn't know I had. My mother had NOT succeeded in destroying or "burying" me. Indeed, night after night after night, I had survived.

The dreams finally stopped when I changed my way of interpreting them.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Jul 07, 2008
by: deb

Thanks so much for sharing your nightmare with me. You are such an inspiration.


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